Not Thinking Outside The Damaged Box

, , , | | Working | May 21, 2019

(I order a fake fireplace heating unit and TV stand for my living room from a popular hardware and home improvement store. The order process is no problem and it arrives earlier than expected. The problems start when I begin unboxing the unit. There are several small pieces missing and the top and bottom panels are both damaged. I check the box over but can’t find any damage to say it was caused in transit, so I call the number on the care guide. It specifically says, “Before contacting [Store], call [Store] Customer Service at [800-number].” So I do.)

Customer Service: “Hello, and thank you for calling [Store] customer service. This is [Rep] on a recorded line. How can I help you today?”

Me: “Hi. I purchased [item] online last Friday, it—“

Customer Service: “Can I have your order number, please?”

Me: “Yes, it’s [number].”

Customer Service: “Is this [My Name]?”

Me: “Yes, it is.”

Customer Service: “Yes, we have that your order was delivered two days ago.”

Me: “Yes, but it was damaged.”

Customer Service: “Damaged?”

Me: “Yes, the top and bottom panels are scratched and the laminate is peeling.”

Customer Service: “Okay.”

Me: “…”

Customer Service: “…”

Me: “So… I’d like a replacement?”

Customer Service: *pause* “Let me contact the warehouse.”

(I’m on hold for over ten minutes.)

Customer Service: “Ma’am?”

Me: “Yes?”

Customer Service: “There’s no one in the warehouse.”

Me: “Uh. Okay, so when will there be someone in the warehouse?”

Customer Service: “Hours are Monday through Friday, 9:00 am to 5:00 pm and Saturday, 10:00 am to 6:00 pm.”

Me: “You’re aware that it’s 2:00 pm on a Saturday, right?”

Customer Service: *pause* “No one is in the warehouse today.”

Me: “Okay. So… when will someone be in the warehouse?”

Customer Service: “Hours are—“

Me: “You said that. By your own admission, someone should be there now, but they’re not. So, when can I get this replaced?”

Customer Service: “When someone is in the warehouse.”

Me: “So, just… never, maybe?”

Customer Service: *offended* “[Store] places customer satisfaction as an utmost priority.”

 Me: “That’s not the impression I’m getting.”

Customer Service: *ends the call*

(I wait until Monday to call again and hope that I’ll get someone else. Luckily, I do.)

Me: “Hi.” *gives brief overview of my problem* “I’m hoping to either get the parts replaced or a full refund.”

New Customer Service: “Okay, let me just see here.” *pause* “I have that you contacted us on Saturday for these parts, correct?”

Me: “Yes, but I was told there was no one in the warehouse.”

New Customer Service: “Oh. After 6:00 pm everyone goes home; I apologize for your wait.”

Me: “It was 2:00 pm.”

New Customer Service: “2:00 pm? No one was there?”

Me: “Not according to [Rep] when I spoke with her on Saturday. She didn’t seem to know when I would get help, either.”

New Customer Service: “That’s odd. Could I put you on hold, please? Let me just… Let me look into this.”

Me: “Okay.”

(I’m on hold for less than five minutes.)

New Customer Service: “I apologize, ma’am. I just listened to your call, and she must have been misinformed. There was someone in the warehouse that day. I don’t know what went wrong but I will take care of this for you.”

Me: “Thank you! What do I need to do?”

New Customer Service: “Well, you have a choice. You can go to your nearest store and return the unit if you’d just like your money back, or I can arrange for a pickup at your house so that we can do an exchange for you and have the new unit delivered in a few days.”

Me: “I really like this unit, so I’d like to exchange, please.”

New Customer Service: “I can do that. It looks like we can have someone come out tomorrow between 8:00 and 10:00 AM, if that works for you. They’ll take it to your local store to have it shipped back to our warehouse and you’ll get a new unit in a few days.”

Me: “That’s great. Thank you so much!”

(I boxed everything back up, sent it back to the warehouse, and I waited. And waited. And waited. On day 19, the package appeared on my doorstep. I opened the box to see that I had been shipped the exact same unit I’d just sent back. I loaded everything in my car and drove straight to the nearest store and got my money back. The manager on duty tried to short me $80 because it went on sale and that was the current price. I pulled up my order on my phone, proving what I’d paid, and he grudgingly agreed. He also refused to refund shipping, so I had to take the $15 loss since that isn’t controlled or charged by their company, but I was willing to do it to end this whole ordeal. I found a similar unit at a competitor’s store and they let me open the box to see if it was damaged before buying it. And no, I did not request a discount or an unopened box for my troubles!)

Dinner Has Been Exterminated

, , , , , | Working | May 8, 2019

(My husband has gone to the kitchen to cook dinner and has just gotten all the pans down and ingredients set out when the door opens. It is the exterminator.)

Husband: “Hi. What are you doing here?”

Exterminator: “The landlady paid me to come out and spray for bugs today.”

Husband: “Oh… at dinner time?”

Exterminator: “Yeah, I got busy.”

Me: *when the story was told to me* “Oh, good. The landlady didn’t pay him to poison our dinner; that was an optional service.”

But They Will Be Laughing For Hours

, , , , , | | Right | May 6, 2019

(I’m working the front at a fast food restaurant with another coworker. After a big rush, a customer comes up saying he didn’t get his order and that he’s been waiting for an hour. I apologize and tell the managers about it. A few minutes later he comes back up and asks again; it’s almost ready. He sits back down at his table with at least ten people and my coworker brings out his food, but not before looking at the time stamp on the customer’s receipt.)

Customer: “Yeah, I waited an hour for this!”

Coworker: “It’s been seventeen minutes.”

(The entire table laughed for a solid minute.)

Not Very Closed Minded, Part 32

, , , , , | | Right | May 3, 2019

(It’s ten minutes until our closing time at 6:00 pm. The phone rings.)

Me: “Thank you for calling [Store]. This is [My Name]; how may I help you?”

Customer: “What time do you close?”

Me: “We close at six o’ clock, in ten minutes.”

Customer: *very brightly* “Okay! I’m on my way now; I’m about twenty minutes out! Will you stay open an extra fifteen to twenty minutes for me?”

(Incredulous pause.)

Me: *trying my best to sound professional and not scoff at her* “I’m sorry, ma’am, but I can’t keep the store open past six. Our [Nearby City] location is open until eight, though.”

Customer: *deep, disapproving sigh* “Fine.” *click*

(I didn’t tell her that even if I could stay open, I wouldn’t. I was locked up and out of there at 6:05.)

Not Very Closed Minded, Part 31
Not Very Closed Minded, Part 30
Not Very Closed Minded, Part 29

Developing Important Skills

, , , , , | | Learning | May 2, 2019

(Back in the days before digital cameras are a thing, new housing is about to be constructed for most of the families in my village, and since this is one of the last Yup’ik — “southern Eskimo” — villages in our region to get them, I want lots of “before” pics of the old houses for historical reasons. Because I want my students to be able to play a role in this process, I acquire some used 35mm cameras and tons of cheap government-surplus film for them to use, and then teach them how to develop it. This works surprisingly well for the most part, but in some cases, I guess my instructions and earlier demos aren’t quite good enough.)

Me: *checking in with one of my third-graders* “Okay, good job on loading the film reel. Next, take the tank out of the bag and add the developer. For this step, make sure you move the tank around as I showed you every minute for five minutes before you go to the next step, which will be the stop bath. Okay?”

(At this point, I need to tend to some other urgent classroom business, which takes a few minutes to resolve. Upon returning:)

Me: “Okay, how is it going? Did you remember to agitate it every minute?”

Student: *nods proudly* “Yes, I checked the clock very carefully!”

Me: “And how many minutes was it in?”

Student: *noting the second hand on the wall clock and dutifully giving the tank another swirl* “Nine!”

(Unfortunately, she’d been so focused on agitating it on each exact minute that she’d forgotten the more crucial part about the developer staying in for ONLY five minutes — after which it continues to get darker until it’s solid black. But on the plus side, the film was cheap and she did a great job on all of her future rolls of film.)

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